italian-studies: Scholarly discussions in any field of Italian studies

    re: a discussion regarding the trials and tribulations of academia.
this just in from the president of the MLA.
    thank you, anthony, for your vote of confidence.
    julia, i will respond to your very inspiring post.  for now let me just
say this.  you claim: "One can give up being an academic while continuing to
be a scholar."  on the other hand, can one be an academic without being a
scholar within an academy that has become "more and more mercenary and
managerial"?  where teaching is: 1)subordinate to publishing (or perishing),
2)solely evaluated by anonymous student opinions?


Dear Colleague,

You don't need me to tell you that the academy is going through one of the
most difficult periods in its history. The MLA has responded to the current
situation with additional travel grants for members who are most affected,
with data on the realities we face, and with an online tool kit (<>)
to give members the reports, guidelines, and information they need to
advocate for changes in the academic workforce.

I write now to announce another major initiative. The Program Committee has
just designated 6 January 2011, the first day of the Los Angeles convention,
as a focal point for a series of panels and workshops on the theme The
Academy in Hard Times. The Executive Council and several MLA committees have
already begun planning sessions and a forum that will offer attendees
insights on the situation and strategies for effective action.

We need the support of all 30,000 MLA members for this special initiative.
Please plan to be there, and please submit sessions for consideration.
Sessions on the topic can be proposed by individual members and by
divisions, discussion groups, the American Literature Section, and allied
and affiliate organizations. Special-session
now available on the MLA Web site; program copy forms will be
by early March. The staff members of the convention office (
[log in to unmask]) are happy to answer your questions about submitting
session proposals.

No matter what your status in the profession is, I ask you to join together
with your fellow members to take this important step in helping ensure the
future of the academy.


[image: Rosemary Feal's signature]

Rosemary G. Feal
gloria monti, ph.d.
assistant professor
CSUF, fullerton, CA
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